Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday we had the privilege of riding 4 wheelers with our friends the Smiths and some awesome locals (who graciously provided most of the bikes...thank y'all so much!) It was epic, especially for us lowlanders who don't do a lot of stuff in "real mountains". Photo creds to Luke, Jacob, and Logan...please enjoy!

L to R: Lundyn, Rachel, Jacob, Seth, Logan, Levi, Lana, Luke
Heading out!

L to R: Rachel, Jacob, Jonah, Daddy, Seth, Lana, Luke, Levi

Came upon these people traversing the mountain trails on horseback...
I was only *slightly* jealous. How sweet is that?!

Luke and I found this unhappy person on the river bank...bless his heart!


So much fun!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An ammendment.

Hey y'all. It's me again. A mere 20 seconds after sharing the previous post, a couple of the brothers were looking at the blog on Jake's phone and I was suddenly aware of the outraged protest: " The Buck! Where is the picture of The Buck? You didn't post The Buck! How could you NOT post a picture of The Buck????" 

Now, be it known that I have a healthy appreciation for Bucks and their intended purpose. I'm especially good at using them, "this dress is only three Bucks!" (Whilst shopping at Goodwill). I even like male deer, and I think their antlers are pretty. But I apparently made the sad mistake of overlooking The Buck while choosing pictures to share with y'all. For this I offer no explanation, a heartfelt apology, and without further ado, may I present to you....The Buck.

More photos from The Wild West

Here are some random photos of life out west. I shall not attempt to explain any of them because if I do, Jake, the photographer, will politely inform me of how very misinformed were my descriptions. Like he did yesterday, when he read my account of the buffalo adventure: "Lana, we were 30 yards from that thing. NOT 20 feet." Well bless my heart! So please just enjoy the pictures...

Friday, September 12, 2014

Of Buffaloes And Other Adventures

 So yesterday our dear friends here in Wyoming took us to beautiful Jackson Hole (an hour and a half away) to shop, see the sights, and in general "conquer the territory" as the brothers would say. We loved it! Unfortunately I don't have pictures handy of everything (the other pics are on various sibling's iPhones and I would hate to bother them am too lazy to get them to email them to me. Confession is good for the soul, right? So maybe later. Meanwhile, I give you what photos Jake's camera captured...

Frisbee game in the park after our picnic lunch (SHOUTOUT to Miss Dana
for all the yummy food we're eating up here!)

Brotherly competition. I love it.

The sisters watching the game in the brother's coats. It.was.cold.
L to R: Lundyn, Lana, Rachel. Thanks guys!

The writer assumes no responsibility for the facial expressions of anyone
in this photograph. Enough said.
(oh, and the orange-coated person to the left is not a rebellious child or a sibling
we don't like to photograph...merely a bystander, bless her heart.)

The Tetons! 

Snow... in September. Fellow southerners, I share your disbelief.
And if that doesn't look like a page right out of a storybook, I am not a bookworm.
 Enter the buffalo. (The huff&blow, as the photographer took a shine to calling him.) We were driving merrily down this gorgeous mountain road and saw said creature grazing near the shoulder. Both vehicles stopped, and from the first one I watched as the brothers exited the other, crossed the road, and started snapping pics from 20 feet away. Then my sweet friend (name withheld so as not to incriminate Dana Smith) mentioned the fact that buffaloes, when angered, are fond of charging/goring/trampling/killing people to death. And I was like, Oh Lord, please! Not while I'm watching! It was a trying time, my friends.* Thankfully God granted my request and all of my beloved brothers are still with us. All that said, they did get some nice pics, wouldn't you say?

I don't mean any disrespect, but this dude's face so reminds me of one of
Si Robertson's expressions. Hey, Jack!
Well, there you have it. I am literally in awe of God's artistic abilities here... the pictures don't do this place justice!

*For those who care, a transcript of Jake's and my text conversation after the buffalo experience:
J: Dad wouldn't let me get close enough to that stupid huff&blow!
L: I'm so thankful he did not gore you and trample you and rend you into pieces. I was dying inside.
J: He's no more dangerous than Papaw's bulls.
L: Um, yes he is. 1) he's wild and 2) he outweighs them by like 50000 tons. Or pounds or whatever.
J: More like about 1000 pounds and I'm wild too!
L: You may be wild but you don't have horns and hooves and 500000 tons or pounds of muscle.
J: He only weighs like 3000 to 4000 lbs and I have hands and feet and I'm a lot smarter than him!
L: Well you're cuter than him anyway. And yes of course smarter. I'm SO THANKFUL you're still alive and I don't have to cry every day of my life.
J: Yeah that too! 
L: Sigh.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Are we there yet?

The answer is no, but after nearly two days if travel we thought y'all might enjoy some pictures of these amazing vistas. These people in the west, y'all. It's like they live in a painting or something. Behold and see...
Beautiful, yes?! We're somewhere in Colorado at the moment (of course I'm not sure where. Did you really think I would know?) and should make our destination sometime this evening. Thanks for stopping by!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On the road again



Well, almost! We leave early* tomorrow morning, Lord willing, for the great state of Wyoming…uncharted territory for us! As much as I love the South in general and Mississippi in particular, by this time of the year I’m more than willing to leave it behind in search of cooler places.

(“Broiling” would be not too strong a term for describing the summer months around here, people. Long live swimming pools, muddy creeks, watermelon, and Gatorade…air conditioning too of course!)

So yes, we can’t wait to hit the road and see what adventures God has in store along the way. We’ll be visiting friends, playing a gig or two, overnighting it at Yellowstone….and I’ll TRY to update the blog here and there while we’re at it. We appreciate any and all prayers for safe travel, and we pray God blesses each of you as you move into a new season and continue to live for him each day!



*There is some confusion in our family over what constitutes “early”. There are those who contend that a departure must occur before 4:00 am to be considered early, while others argue that anytime in the forenoon hours is plenty early enough. Then there are those, eager to be on our way, who suggest we leave “early” as in the evening before. All of the above suggestions have been tried at various times over the years, and still the debate continues. Not that it matters, as we seem to arrive late no matter when we leave. What do y’all think? What does early look like at your house? :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

As I was saying…


Wait, I don’t remember what I was saying. All I know is, a long time and 40,000 texts and emails saying “why don’t you blog anymore” later, here I am again. And a whole lot of life has happened in the intermission, my friends. I’m not even going to say I’m sorry ‘cause it’s really lame and y’all are tired of hearing it, so let’s just jump right into a quick recap, shall we?

Most of you probably know about my dad’s health issues of the last year or so…chronic, worsening neck and shoulder pain that eventually led to losing the use of his arms, all while trying to diagnose the root problem. An MRI finally showed a tumor at the base of his neck, which was quickly removed, tested, and proved malignant. The mass had eaten away at two of the vertebrae in his neck which explained the pain and strength loss (funny, I know. I mean, a broken neck, what’s the big deal? I kid.) In the middle of figuring out treatment options and recovering from surgery, we were and are so thankful for God’s timing and grace… the doctor who performed surgery said that had he waited 3 weeks longer, quadriplegia would have set in.  God’s grace has been all over us through the past several months of radiation treatments (finished now!) and recovery…he’s regained the use of his arms and is steadily gaining back his overall strength. I don’t even know how to start saying thank you to all of you amazing people who let God bless us through your prayers, gifts, visits, encouraging words, and everything else….God bless each of you for your love and generosity! We are so thankful for each of you and feel privileged to call you friends. We continue to trust God for complete healing and thank him for his mercy thus far!

Around and through and between all of that….life happens! We’ve divided our time between home and travel this year…prison ministry in Alabama and South Carolina, random quick stops in Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky, homeschool conference in Texas, concerts and a friend’s wedding in Arkansas. Lord willing, we hit the road next month headed for the big beautiful state of Wyoming…I can’t wait to experience it for the first time! At home, in between work and church and local gigs and marrying off our cousin (whom I miss like crazy…love you Hannah!!!), we’ve been blessed with friends coming to visit from all over…Arkansas, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, even Hawaii. So many fun memories…thanks to all of you for stopping by!

And now, the place where I ought to wrap up with a promise to blog faithfully from now on. Only, I’m kinda scared to do so ‘cause I might not do it and then it would be a lie and have you read the Ninth Commandment? So how about this instead: “I promise to attempt to try to succeed in getting blog posts published oftener than twice a year, considering the fact that I am the person who started this blog in the first place and that it’s really lame to tell people who ask, yeah, we have a blog…knowing that when they visit it they’ll be transported back in time to the hazy history of our family  instead of reading current events like they do on normal other people’s blogs.” I try, people, I really try. Bless my heart! So that we don’t end on this pathetic note, I give you random photos from a recent just-before-a-concert sibling shoot…